Every year, students across India invest substantial resources to acquire a business or management degree. They believe that this investment will enable them to advance their careers and secure better professional prospects. With this in mind, it becomes crucial to ask the following two questions – What unique value do Business Schools (B-Schools) provide to their students? And how aligned are the teaching practices and curricula with the evolving demands and expectations of the industry?
The primary function of a B-School is to impart to their students the ability to visualise problems, gather various inputs and their thought processes, and conceptualise practical, actionable solutions to challenges. Considering this, let’s take a look at the main factors hiring teams look for when they evaluate a candidate from a B-School and what institutes can do to make youth job-ready.
Academic skills: Closing the distance between theory and practice
While a strong academic foundation is highly valued in Business Schools (B-Schools), there is a notable challenge in keeping their syllabi up-to-date with industry advancements. The prolonged revision cycles often lead to a significant gap between industry expectations and the skills graduates possess. To bridge this divide, B-Schools should adopt a more agile approach to curriculum updates, ensuring graduates are equipped with the latest knowledge, thereby enhancing their readiness for the dynamic demands of the modern business landscape.
To effectively address the challenge of outdated syllabi in Business Schools (B-Schools), a multifaceted approach can be implemented. They should commit to an annual review and update of their syllabi to ensure alignment with industry advancements. It will also be beneficial for teachers to broaden their teaching scope beyond the confines of the syllabus. This flexibility enables educators to incorporate the latest industry developments into their lessons, keeping students abreast of technological advancements.
Furthermore, establishing collaborations between academia and industry experts can be achieved through initiatives such as guest lectures industry leader panel discussions, or facilitating student internships within corporates. These serve as conduits for real-world insights and experiences, enabling students to keep up with technological trends and industry best practices. By adopting these comprehensive strategies, B-Schools can not only address the immediate challenge of outdated syllabi but also fortify the bridge between academia and the rapidly evolving demands of the professional landscape.
Personal skills: Creating well-rounded leaders
In the contemporary corporate landscape, the criteria for selecting managerial talent have evolved beyond mere technical proficiency. Recruiters now prioritise individuals with a versatile and comprehensive skill set that extends beyond their defined roles. B-Schools are known for their focus on cultivating students' abilities to visualize complex problems, conduct efficient research, consider diverse perspectives, and maintain objectivity. They also prioritise instilling clarity of thought and effective communication skills in their students. This plays a pivotal role in nurturing such well-rounded professionals through the emphasis on developing essential soft skills.
Not only does this make youth efficient team members but also positions them as effective leaders. The result is the ability to maintain a workforce that fosters a collaborative and dynamic work environment, qualities highly sought after in managerial candidates.
Enterprise skills: Bridging the gap between academics and industry
As the technology industry undergoes continuous transformations, the criteria sought by recruiters for managerial talent also evolve. Recruiters are increasingly drawn to candidates who not only possess theoretical knowledge but can adeptly apply it in practical scenarios within the enterprise context. This necessitates not only the initial acquisition of skills but also the ongoing capacity to reskill and adapt to the dynamic nature of the technology sector.
B-Schools remain a vital part of the tech industry by shaping well-rounded individuals to lead the tech advancements of tomorrow. Regularly updated syllabi and teacher flexibility in incorporating industry advancements ensure that B-School talent aligns closely with current industry demands. This approach equips graduates with both theoretical knowledge and practical insights, making them valuable contributors in today's dynamic professional landscape.